Amazing. What music can do is utterly amazing. Hundreds of kids in Venezuela are involved in music. It's keeping them "clean" and giving them positive senses of accomplishment.
It started with a vision of Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu Anselmi. He saw the cultural lure of modernization on Venezuelan children. Alarmed, he applied and received a grant to establish a youth orchestra which would morph into "el sistema or la orquestra." The State Foundatiion for the National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras (FESNOJIV) operates training and music centers throughout Venezuela -- and the idea is spreading throughout Latin America.
The purpose is to involve kids into something they can be proud of. Just think of what music teaches: reading, discipline, work, hard work, teamwork, cooperation, etc. It's a "win-win."
And to think that my own town cut its music program. Music can make the world "go round." Let's reconsider our educational focus and promote music as a core subject.